Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday's Forgotten Book: Adam Diment: The Dolly Dolly Spy

Adam Diment's The Dolly Dolly Spy (translated in Finnish with a misleading title Nukkevakooja) was an enormously popular spy novel published in 1968 that's largely forgotten these days. It does seem to have some sort of a cult following, though, which I can understand, but not easily relate to.

I did enjoy the book mildly. The book has lost some of its shock value - I mean, we have seen quite a lot of free sex and the use of mild drugs since 1968, there's not much to it anymore. But it's still entertaining, even though in the case The Dolly Dolly Spy there's also lots of old-fashioned sexism to it. A blogger wrote that Adam Diment's Philip McAlpine makes Ian Fleming's James Bond books feel like they were written by Andrea Dworkin!

The main problem for me in The Dolly Dolly Spy was that the book was too episodic. There's not much coherence to it. I'm the first to admit this was probably something Diment was aiming at, but it doesn't work very well (though it does work in some books). The first part of the book is pretty good, and so is the end, but the middle part drags - and none of them have much to do with each other! It does, however, add to the overall parodic quality of the book. The parody goes well with Philip McAlpine's character, since he couldn't be less interested in the Cold War affairs and he gets rather pissed off by the fact that his employers want him to help an old Nazi officer escape.

Adam Diment's story has been interesting, read for more here and here.

More Forgotten Books here.

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